Friday, December 7, 2012

Women in Christ

I identify myself as a woman in Christ. If you also put yourself in that category, this is for you:

“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7

I know as women, we tend to worry. We tend to over-think things that won’t matter down the road. I do it almost every day! These crazy little things will invade my mind and won’t let me go until I almost go mentally insane. This has always been one of my biggest problems in life, whether it has to do with school work, family, relationships, or whatever else enters my life. 

I can’t stress enough this passage in Philippians. It is such a reassuring text. God is here for us, seeing every little thought pass through our minds. If only we knew how much He loved us! I forget sometimes that I’m allowed to complain. I can just talk to my God about how this next chemistry test is going to be the death of me, so please help my, Lord, to slow down and get a few hours of sleep. God’s peace “surpasses every thought.” What a wonderful truth that we as worrisome women need to hear. 

“Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes; instead, it should consist of the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes.”
I Peter 3:3-4

How beautiful do you think you are? Do you label yourself as beautiful at all? I know that I definitely don’t jump to that conclusion when I think about my attributes. As women, we are living in a world filled with fake beauty. Beauty that is only skin deep, not penetrating into the soul. I’m here to say that if you have Jesus Christ in your heart, if you believe He is the way, the truth, and the life, you are most indeed beautiful. As Christians, we all have beautiful souls. In Romans it even says “How beautiful the feet of those who bring good news!”

It’s true, our beauty shouldn’t depend upon what we wear. But I want to get to the root of it all. Our beauty should also not be dependent upon others. Let’s face it, women usually depend on what people say about our looks. What we feel on the inside relies heavily upon what people in our circles of influence say about us. It makes me so mad, too! Whenever I stray from my God and His Word, I automatically replace it with what others say about me. Sometimes it isn’t even what people say to us; maybe it’s just how people act around us, or if they talk to us at all. I know I’m not alone in this. 

This is definitely true with members of the opposite sex. I’m as much guilty of this as the next girl, believe me. If a guy thinks of you as attractive, you feel a lot better about yourself! You may think, “Well, gosh, I didn’t know someone out there liked any of this!” It’s nice to hear words of affirmation, whether it be about your physical appearance or your personality. It could be just the way you carry yourself that attracts certain guys. Anyways, all I’m saying is this: We can’t depend upon guys to make us feel better about ourselves! Our beauty doesn’t rely on your next crush, your boyfriend, your fiance, your husband. We as women rooted in Christ have placed our hope, our thoughts, our lives in the hands of our Lord. Shouldn’t we also place our beauty in His hands as well?

“An unmarried woman or a virgin is concerned about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. Now I [Paul] am saying this is for your own benefit, not to put a restraint on you, but because of what is proper, and so that you may be devoted to the Lord without distraction.”
I Corinthians 7:34-35

I really wanted to put the whole passage of I Corinthians 7:25-40! I challenge you to read that; it’s so good. This is obviously for the single ladies out there, such as myself. In college, I’m seeing a lot of people going off and getting married. It’s ridiculous! I’m just like, “Slow down, y’all! It’s not a race to see who can have the most kids by 25!” Of course I get jealous of these beautiful girls who are getting proposed to during the summer on the beach and getting swept off their feet and all that romantic stuff. I can’t help but wonder when that will happen to me. But then I realize: I am not content in my walk with the Lord because of this.

As Christian women, we need to be “concerned about the things of the Lord,” as Paul says. Anything else is a distraction. Yes, this includes our guy problems. I like when Paul says that his words aren’t to put a restraint on us; it’s for our benefit that he says these encouraging and uplifting statements. Paul never got married. He is the perfect example of staying the course of single life. Expounding upon that, he is also in general a wonderful example of keeping rooted in Christ.

I know that younger single women like myself will sometimes say, “If only I could just find my husband already and marry him. Things would be so much simpler. I wouldn’t have to worry about trying to find him!” What if we changed this statement to, “If only I could just be content with what God has given me in my life.” This mindset would drastically change the way we live our lives as women. 

The only thing we need to depend on is God. For we know from Romans that “all things work together for the good of those who love God; those who are called according to His purpose.” All things. This include the little stuff we worry about. This includes the family problems we have. This includes all the petty boy problems we have. All things. It all works together for our good. Hallelujah, what a beautiful truth.

On my last note, I hope and pray that these words will be of encouragement to any and all women who love the Lord. We need to see our beauty through the eyes of our Creator, not through the eyes of His creation, which is surely passing away. Know that you are greatly loved by the King.

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